French trains hit hard by latest protest over labour reform

PARIS: Much of France's rail network has ground to a halt as rail workers strike in protest against changes to French labour rules.

According to the SNCF national rail authority, about 40 percent of France's high-speed trains and more than half of regional trains are cancelled. Eurostar trains to London are expected to run normally, however, though more than half of trains to Spain and Italy are affected. Commuter trains serving Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport are also being impacted by the strike.

Three of the four unions representing workers at SNCF called for a strike Wednesday. Unions are threatening to stay off the job through the start of the European Championship football tournament next week.

Nationwide labor action this week is tapping public anger at a bill allowing employers more freedom to lay off staff and extend working hours.